I have been comforted to see several postings on social media outlets this weekend encouraging people to remember the true meaning behind Memorial Day. This isn’t a weekend that was created just for 3 days of BBQ-ing. Granted, I love the fact that we spent all day yesterday relaxing, hanging with friends, and enjoying the kick-off to summer weather … and any time I’m offered a 3-day weekend, I will accept it with a big goofy smile on my face.
However, we need to remember that there is the very real chance we wouldn’t have the opportunity to enjoy our relaxation and our freedom, if it weren’t for the very real women and men in our country’s Armed Forces…and more to the point today, to those who lost their lives protecting us.
For those of us who don’t currently have loved ones in the military, it is difficult to imagine –or even come close to understanding — what it must be like to lose a spouse, a sibling, a parent or a friend to war or other military “conflict”, as the government seems to like to call them. The strength of the families who go through such a loss is inspiring, and I hope we always remember to support them with honor, respect and pride.
Perhaps one way to realize the importance of today is to bring it home as best as we all can. For me, all I have to realize is that if my Dad, God forbid, had not returned home from the Korean War, my mom would have lost her fiancé, and my siblings and I and the next generation would not be here today. Wow. That is pretty sobering.
So if you know a Veteran, meet a Veteran, or know anyone who lost a Veteran, be sure today to give them a hug and say thank you. Then go ahead and throw a burger on the grill, get out the backyard games, jump in the pool and celebrate with enthusiasm the fact that we are free, we are alive, and we together are the USA.